365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About


Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island was definitely my most anticipated movie of the first quarter of 2017. Granted the first three months of the year aren't usually known for producing the year's best films. And while Kong: Skull Island won't be up for any end of year honors and won't end up on my year's top ten list (unless this year is God awful for movies), I found it to be a very engaging, exciting, and, if it's even possible, original. While it wasn't nearly perfect, this movie was awesome. As excited as I was to see it when I originally saw the trailer, I wasn't feeling it the day of my viewing. Even with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 79%, I still felt like I was going to be disappointed. I haven't seen the most recent King Kong movie (the 2005 one starring Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody) since seeing it in the theater. I remember liking it a lot. But I don't remember many of the details. I do remember it being extremely long. It honestly felt like it should have been two movies and I think that's why I haven't watched it since, even though there has been a copy of the DVD sitting on my bookshelf for the last decade. Kong: Skull Island was certainly not a sequel or a prequel and it didn't feel completely like a reboot to me either. Sure, there have been other King Kong movies about a group of unknowns visiting Skull Island, but either this one had a different twist than the other ones or I just wasn't paying enough attention (which is entirely possible), but this movie had a sense of freshness in it that I didn't suspect. That plus its visuals, sound, lack of dull/unimportant moments, and relatively short length (118 minutes) allow me to fully endorse this movie as one that you should try to see in the theater. Plus, this movie was not created in 3D when it very well could have been. This is a definite plus.


Cop Car (2015)

Dark humor movies aren't my thing. They never have been. They never will be. I want my comedies to my funny. I want my dramas to be filled with drama. I do like a lot of dramedies, but, to me, dark humor movies don't fall into that category. I also like movies that make me think, keep me entertained, or, preferably, both. Jon Watts's (The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Clown) Cop Car did neither of these things for me. While I understand there are lots of critics of Indie films out there who will enjoy this film, this is a movie to avoid for the everyday moviegoer. I feel like for many movie fans, this is the top of movie that you'll ask yourself how you can get those 90 minutes of your life back. For me, the film had promise. I felt that it was building towards something good. Unfortunately, at least for me, it never came close to reaching what I had hoped for. In fact, it didn't come close.


All the Real Girls (2003)

Director David Gordon Green is quietly creeping into the upper echelon of movie directors. He is probably a name most people still have not heard of. Green is known for doing these smaller, independent, character driven movies that are often set in anytown America. To me the movies are extremely realistic because they dive so deep into raw, everyday emotions, specifically dealing with love and lust and jealousy and anger and hurt. Keep in mind as I say this that he also has directed stupid humor comedies like Pineapple Express, The Sitter, and Your Highness, but that just further shows how ultra-talented the man is. The movies that I am talking about are George Washington, Undertow (which I actually didn't like but appreciated), and particularly Snow Angels, a movie I admire in every aspect. I'd actually need to go back and watch Snow Angels again (a movie, coincidentally, that I watched for the second time ever no more than 3 or 4 months ago) before deciding if I like it or All the Real Girls better. To me, both of these movies capture the pureness of simple film-making.


Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook was a great movie that I most likely would not have seen had I done a bit more research ahead of time. I have known for months now that Jennifer Lawrence is a candidate, if not the favorite, for this year's Best Actress Academy Award and that Bradley Cooper could possibly snag one of the five nominations in the Best Actor category. The movie itself might land a spot in the Best Picture category, though, I would think, it would have little chance of winning. So the Oscar buzz was one reason that got me to the theater. The other was that the movie was centered around mental illnesses and broken relationships. Those movies often, but not always, engross me. I saw drama and comedy as words associated with this movie. Perhaps naively, I did not see romantic comedy. While there was a bit of drama and some attempts at comedy (which I personally found to be weak), this slowly but surely turned into a romance. By the movie's conclusion, I was actually very, very okay with that. Though flawed at times, it came together nicely and felt fairly original to me. If there are 10 movies that will be nominated for Best Picture this year, I think Silver Linings Playbook will and should be one of them.


Take Shelter (2011)

The most overlooked performance by a lead actor in 2011 was Michael Shannon's performance as the delusional Curtis LaForche in the Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories) bone chilling drama Take Shelter. Though Shannon's acting career began in 2001 and the first three movies he appeared in (Pearl Harbor, Vanilla Sky, and 8 Mile) each grossed over $100,000,000 at the box office, it wasn't until 2008 when he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor after two jaw dropping scenes as a mentally unstable man in Revolutionary Road.